Tag: <span>Milton Keynes</span>

No, not online.

In real life.

With all the mentals.

The fear is already starting to build, deep in the pit of my stomach, a dull nervousness that refuses to leave. Soon I will be out there, blinded by the glare, dazzled by the tinsel and fairy lights and surrounded by a throng of buffoons.

I’m not sure if that is the correct collective term, and frankly I’m still not sure why there are so many of the buggers wandering about the shopping centre. Shouldn’t they be… I dunno… in Africa? Gibraltar?

I have developed tactics to deal with such occasions (they are rare), one of which is to constantly remind myself that you only need an IQ of 23 to be able to breathe and walk. Not that I think everyone is an idiot, far from it, there will be many people who are far worse.

However there will always be a smattering of the usual culprits around. You know them I’m sure, the random changers of direction, those who block the stairs to chat to their mates, and the worst of all the sudden stoppers. Such are the selfish, thoughtless morons.

I usually cope by taking many deep breaths and being efficient, getting in and out as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, one time, I cracked.

It was several years ago and we were in Milton Keynes shopping centre. If you don’t know it, it’s a large shopping centre that is, essentially, a couple of big long ‘streets’. Not sure of the size but you can probably see for about half a mile in either direction.

It’s very busy and as we leave a shop we turn left and start walking to the next planned shop. About 100 metres away is a woman. She is walking towards us pushing a buggy. Whilst she is walking she is bent over, talking to the baby in the chair. Obviously she must own this part of the shopping centre and it is I who is trespassing… right?

Regardless we both continue to walk towards each other, a collision on the cards, closer with every step. I’m slowly counting to 10, waiting for her to lift her head and see me.

About 4 metres short I finally crack, stop dead in my tracks and say, firmly, politely and loudly,

“EXCUSE ME!!”

The woman jerks to a halt, stands bolt upright and stares at me, her mouth flaps open, then shuts again. I can see she wants to say something but, wisely, she doesn’t.

I glare back and stride off past her, muttering and seething.

Gosh, I’m really looking forward to going shopping.

Life

Understandably, this year Christmas will be decidely low-key. However that, unfortunately, doesn’t negate the need to tackle the beast that is “Shopping for Christmas presents”. However this year I think we’ve got it sussed.

Louise has been saving – well, giving to the Christmas hamper scheme to get shopping vouchers back – all year and, armed with the knowledge that we’d have a fixed budget we sat down over the weekend with the Argos catalogue and picked out Christmas presents. Not that we’ll get them from Argos, not all of them at least, but it’s a good source of ideas. Thankfully we’ve just about completed the list and we know what we are getting people. So rather than having to wander round shops, trying to think what to get people, we’ll just have a couple of days of ‘blitz shopping’ and it’ll all be done.

In fact I’ll probably do most of it on my lunch hour(s).

I hate shopping on busy days at the best of times, so Christmas shopping comes with an added bunch of stress and it doesn’t take me long reach my limit – memories of yelling at a woman in Milton Keynes shopping centre several years ago, who was walking along pushing her pram whilst looking the other way, still ring clear in my mind. Thoughts of physical violence and hatred aren’t far away at those times so I figure it’s better for everyone concerned that I limit my shopping during the stupid season. Either that or everyone could just bugger off out of my road…

Of course I’ll be doing as much of the shopping online if at all possible, although the vouchers kinda limit that side of things. Overall though I don’t think the shopping will be too arduous this year, and even if it is we’ve already got flights booked for a week in Spain in January. We’ll be airborn in 59 days time.

And yes, I’m counting.

Anyway, I do have a question… are you a Merry Christmas or a Happy Christmas kinda person? Apparently there is a right and wrong answer to this (according to my wife at least) so I’m curious to know. Ohh and for some reason I seem to have ditched Xmas in favour of Christmas all of a sudden. Not sure why though..

So – Merry or Happy, Christmas or Xmas. I’d setup a wee vote thingy but I can’t be arsed.

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I’m not the most patient man. I enjoy shopping at my speed which varies on the task at hand, if I’m browsing for me then I can take all day, but if I have a LIST then get the hell outta my road!

Watched some NBA this morning then went shopping. Shopping of the Christmas variety. Now we are genuinely pretty good at this, and as has become custom, we go for coffee at Cafe Crema (best coffee shop in Hamilton, if not West of Scotland), compile our hit list for the day and head off. This year we are still unsure what to get some people so we are doing a bit off the cuff.

This isn’t helping me at all. I think I’ve related my tale of shouting at a ‘lady’ in Milton Keynes shopping centre, and today was pretty similar. Ohhh except today I had a headache as well.

Truth be told I was pretty well behaved today, only a few loudly spoken “Excuse me!!” and a couple of muttered “stupid place to stand…” passed my lips.

So I’m quite looking forward to tonight, chilling out at my brother-in-laws for dinner. Although I think I’m driving which.. well, let’s just say that I could do with a drink!

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